Permaculture food gardens were established at the Windmill campus with the help of trainers from the Botanic Gardens. The gardens are maintained by a gardening club, and harvest is sold on a rotational basis to parents, thus making the garden an ongoing sustainable project.
There is also a permaculture food garden in the centre of the cycle track at the Silverton campus and a charming vegetable garden at the entrance to the Bellevue campus.
Tree Tops children take great delight in watching the vegetables grow – there is always much excitement when they see that one of the plants has started to produce fruit! They are also involved in the planting, watering, weeding and general maintenance of the gardens.
Extra afternoon sessions are held where interested children are involved in various gardening projects.
Our Junior Primary children run a tree nursery – growing both fruit and indigenous trees. We are involved in a number of exciting projects such as Plant-for-the-Planet, which saw a number of our children become ambassadors for this international campaign. Tree Tops ambassadors have hosted ‘planting parties’ and given talks on Climate Change.
By being part of the Eco Schools programme and maintaining our environmental projects, we have added value to the school curriculum, and everyday experiences, of our young children. We hope to nurture their sense of wonder at the natural world and to instill in them attitudes and practises to live in an environmentally sensitive way.
In the words of the WESSA Eco-Schools Assessment Team, “It is evident that the Eco-Schools Programme has contributed significantly to sustainable management and development of Tree Tops School and the community. The school has been active in environmental learning for many years, even before joining the Eco-Schools programme. Well done! Tree Tops is such an inspirational school that we are proud to have as part of the Eco-Schools programme. Please continue to keep flying the Eco-Schools flag with such enthusiasm and grace, you are moulding wonderful little people!”